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Researchers receive ERC starting grants

Faculty of science building Two promising researchers at the Faculty of Science have been awarded a prestigious grant from the European Research Council, providing each person with up to 1.5 million euros in funding over the next five years.

New method maps stressed plants across continents

map Researchers have now found a way to measure the reaction of plants to drought on a very large scale. The study has involved investigations of entire continents and shows that drought, since the turn of the millennium, has resulted in stressed plants across large areas on several continents.

Colour vision makes birds of prey successful hunters

Harris’s hawk. In many cases it is the colour of the prey that helps predatory birds to detect, pursue and capture them. In a new study, biologists at Lund University in Sweden show that the Harris’s hawk has the best colour vision of all animals investigated to date – and in certain situations, even better than humans. The findings may help to protect threatened birds of prey against hazards such as wind turbines and power lines.

Great tit birds have as much impulse control as chimpanzees

Great tit Biologists at Lund University in Sweden have in a recent study shown that the great tit, a common European songbird, has a tremendous capacity for self-control. Up to now, such impulse control has been primarily associated with larger cognitively advanced animals with far larger brains than the great tit. According to the new results, the great tits’ ability for self-control is almost the same as that of ravens and chimpanzees.

Scientists lack vital knowledge on rapid Arctic climate change

Landscape Arktis Arctic climate change research relies on field measurements and samples that are too scarce, and patchy at best, according to a comprehensive review study from Lund University in Sweden. The researchers looked at thousands of scientific studies, and found that around 30% of cited studies were clustered around only two research stations in the vast Arctic region.

Fluorescent molecules reveal how cancer stem cells are selectively inhibited

The study provides a clearer idea of how molecules of this type, known as ion transporters, reduce the percentage of cancer stem cells in a cell population. A team of researchers at Lund University in Sweden has developed a fluorescent variant of a molecule that inhibits cancer stem cells. Capturing images of when the molecule enters a cell has enabled the researchers, using cell-biological methods, to successfully describe how and where the molecule counteracts the cancer stem cells.

Insects also migrate using the Earth’s magnetic field

Bogong Moths on Cave Wall. A major international study led by researchers from Lund University in Sweden has proven for the first time that certain nocturnally migrating insects can explore and navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field. Until now, the ability to steer flight using an internal magnetic compass was only known in nocturnally migrating birds.

Sea urchins see with their feet

Sea urchin Sea urchins lack eyes, but can see with their tentacle-like tube feet instead, previous research has indicated. Now, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have tested their vision in a new study, and shown that while sea urchins have fairly low resolution vision - it is good enough to fulfil their basic needs.

Biodiversity increased after open sandy habitat restoration

insect Since 2012, the EU project Sandlife has worked to restore open sandy habitats in southern Sweden. Overgrown environmentally-protected areas, known as Natura 2000 areas, on sandy land in Skåne, Halland and Öland, have been opened up to become more accessible to both the public and rare plants and animals. The first results are now being presented and they are positive. The initiative has benefitted many insects, including several endangered species.

Fruit flies fear lion faeces

Fruit fly A new doctoral thesis from Lund University in Sweden shows how fruit flies use their sense of smell and humidity to find food, avoid dehydration and discover the best place to lay their eggs – in overripe marula fruits. Faeces from herbivores are also suitable, but the flies reject carnivore excrement.


Lena Björk Blixt
Press Officer
+ 46 46 222 71 86
+ 46 709 79 79 70

Lena [dot] Bjork_Blixt [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se